With their recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market and the deployment of experimental automated checkout grocery stores, there has been a lot of buzz about how Amazon.com will impact food delivery services and retail. Now the company is exploring a food delivery system that does not require any refrigeration. Will these plans lead to the ecommerce and tech giant eventually dominating the home meal delivery market?
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Breaking Into A Billion Dollar Industry
The market for ready-to-eat and pre-prepped meal delivery is massive—amounting to a billion dollar industry. There are a few limitations that may be standing in the way of it growing even larger, and one is the problem of keeping ingredients fresh before reaching the customer. Amazon— along with packaging technology startup 915 Labs—is working on a way to get around that problem using an impressive military technology.
Combining Meal Delivery And Military Technology
MATS, or microwave assisted thermal sterilization, was developed at Washington State University and has been utilized by the U.S. military. Through a unique pressurized heating method, MATS provides a way to preserve food while retaining flavor, texture, and nutrients without a need to reduce the temperature. Food packaged with this technology could sit on a customer’s doorstep for hours without quality or safety compromise. Additionally, Amazon could maintain a stock that could be kept on ordinary warehouse shelves for years, rather than in industrial freezers and refrigerators.
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Major Waves In The Grocery Industry?
Meal delivery would likely become part of AmazonFresh, a service that offers rapid delivery of groceries. Although no specific plans have been reported, nor has any direct connection between Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market and its grocery offerings been established, the company has filed for a trademark on cook-at-home meal kits. It may not be long before Amazon starts making major waves in the grocery industry.
What do you expect to see from Amazon’s grocery and meal services? Comment and let us know your thoughts on this development.